Bloomberg News

London Luxury-Home Prices Gain as Buyers Extend Hunt for Safety

December 14, 2011

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Luxury-home prices in central London climbed the most in 14 months in November as the risk of a recession in Europe grew and overseas buyers sought safer investments, Knight Frank LLP said.

Values of houses and apartments costing an average of 3.2 million pounds ($5 million) rose by an average of 12.6 percent from a year earlier, the London-based broker said in a report today. That’s the most since a 14.2 percent increase in September 2010.

“This growth has taken place against a backdrop of ever- worsening global economic news and rising threats of a second credit crunch,” said Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank, in the report. “A typical prime London property has risen in value by more than 1,202 pounds per day over the past year.”

The euro reached its weakest level since February against the pound today amid concern sovereign credit ratings may be cut. European Union leaders last week pledged that central banks will channel 200 billion euros ($264 billion) through the International Monetary Fund, sped the start of a 500 billion- euro rescue fund and diluted a demand that bondholders shoulder losses in rescues to help alleviate the region’s debt crisis.

Values gained 1 percent on a monthly basis. Prime central- London prices have advanced about 40 percent since the market’s low in March 2009, Knight Frank said. House prices across the U.K. rose 0.4 percent from October, according to a Nov. 29 Nationwide Building Society report.

One Hyde Park

The number of homes on the central London luxury market has increased by 8 percent in the past 12 months, Knight Frank estimates. The company didn’t say how many properties were available.

Prices in affluent neighborhoods such as Knightsbridge and Belgravia will reach 10,000 pounds a square foot by 2016 because of a lack of luxury-home supply in the city’s best locations, the property broker said.

An apartment at One Hyde Park, the luxury condominium complex in Knightsbridge, sold for 7,500 pounds a square foot, Nick Candy, one of the two brothers who conceived of the development, said in an October interview. The glass and steel building has had sales of more than 1.4 billion pounds, he said.

--Editors: Jeff St.Onge, Andrew Blackman

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Spillane in London at cspillane3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net.


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